3 Must-Dos on this World Energy Conservation Day

“Energy conservation is energy independence” – Tom Allen

This simple quote sums up the immediate need and importance of energy conservation, in the 21st century. Why? Most of us know the answers. But let me tell you again.

Up to 90 per cent of the world’s oil reserves will be depleted in the next two generations. If we do not start thinking of and implementing alternate sources of energy efficiently the world will face an energy crisis.

And it’s said that this upcoming crisis will cause a shift in global political power – the power shift that happens from nations controlling international currencies to nations with commodities such as oil, uranium, and gold.

No matter what the political or economic changes may be, we will face the biggest environmental crises due to the rising carbon oxide and carbon monoxide emissions. All thanks to our relentless and endless use of finite fossil fuel resources.

But we can always start changing our habits, and hope that there’s still time to bring some good impact.

This World Energy Conservation Day, let’s adopt some basic but effective policies that can help us delay this energy crisis!


1. Adjust your day to day behaviours

When individual efforts combine to make a huge change, every little step goes a long way, especially in the case of energy conservation.

Turning off lights and fans when you do not need them not only reduces your electricity bill, but also conserves important energy and reduces the overall need for energy. It is a ripple effect: one house, one district, one city.

We all know how small changes in our behaviour can bring a big impact.

Simple acts such as turning down the heat on our thermostat in winters and using air conditioners for a lesser period of time in the summers can be our important contribution to a better and more sustainable future.

Can you imagine how it all adds up to create a huge, quantifiable impact? 🙂  

2. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Person Hands on Assorted- Energy Conservation

This is a very basic but highly effective method to tackle the energy crisis.

Reduce the amount of waste you produce by buying minimally packaged goods or making use of reusable packaging, and recycling them the next time you go shopping. This can significantly decrease the energy used in making and disposing these products.

Did you know that for every half a kilogram of waste you decrease, you save energy and reduce emissions of CO2 by almost 1 pound?!

Using and encouraging the use of products made with recycled elements, instead of non-renewable scratch materials, uses 30-55% less for paper products, 33% less for glass and a whopping 90% less for aluminium!

How is that for positive change with minimum efforts?

3. Adopt energy efficient appliance practices

Light Bulb- Energy Conservation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whereas, our traditional light bulbs are incandescent and consume an excessive amount of electricity. Let’s replace them today!

This not only saves you money in the long run, but also conserves energy. In a typical home, one CFL can save upto 260 pounds of CO2 per year!

The practices we can adopt are endless, however it always starts with  the most basic level: yourself.

Talking isn’t trying Instead of preaching, it is time for us to put these practices in use and start taking these measures seriously and encourage those around to do the same.

Afterall, it is rightly said – there is too much energy conversation instead of energy conservation. It’s time to walk the talk and do our bit!

If you want to take a step further and contribute a bit more, here are “5 Creative Ways of Sustainable Living”!

 

 


Written by

Malawika is a Mass Communication student from Delhi. She is an astrophile, passionate about Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, and loves to listen to the Arctic Monkeys, her favorite band. Find her at her happiest while exploring new cities and justifying her love for the color orange!

5 Creative Ways of Sustainable Living

We are all aware of most of the problems that exist in our ‘sustainable’ world, so connecting to these issues isn’t a hard task. 

Poverty, hunger, poor health and education, lack of sanitation, climate change… These topics have been present in our daily lives and are increasing a lot.

And it’s been a while that many talks, debates and discussions continue to revolve around them.

But you know, only once someone levels up their motivation to take an actual action is when they initiate the rise of a hiding hero within them.

And let’s face it, a transformation is the need of the hour.

So why not bring in some exciting sustainable changes in our lifestyles, and actually leave a contribution to our planet?

Sustainable living comes to replacing basic habits or changing the way you do things for a more eco-friendly life.

And there are a lot of things, from small acts to big ones, that one can do.

Here are some of the basic acts of kindness you can do for the environment:

1. Keeping bird feeders and water holders in the balcony

Bird feeder ways of sustainable living

News often addresses that electromagnetic radiations and emissions from mobile towers severely affect the bird population.

To bring back the chirping of sparrows in our neighbourhoods, it’s always good to keep bowls of pulses and water to reduce the struggle of these beautiful aerial animals around us.

It helps them deal with the scorching heat and survive.

2. Make a small kitchen garden for fruits, flowers and butterflies

One of the most effective methods to reduce food waste would be to grow food where you live.

Planting such seeds in your own home would assure organic food with higher nutritional value.

It will be free from the pollution of insecticides and pesticides, and would freely invite shelter for butterflies and squirrels.

It will also reduce your dependence on plastic-wrapped packaged food, hence saving waste to the environment.

3. Use of glass, steel or brass items

glass bottles ways of sustainable living

Once plastic bottles enter your garbage, it will probably end up harming aquatic lives.

If we have alternatives to not affect other living beings, then why not to adopt them?

We always have the option to switch to ceramic jars for storing food, using glass or steel water bottles and even opting for bamboo or steel straws.

Not only is better for the environment, but also for us. For real.

Food captured in plastic materials, once consumed, alters with our molecular structures to cause stress, the excess of which can even cause cancer.

4. Making compost pits for sustainable wet waste

compost ways of sustainable living

Managing and segregating waste intelligently can make you a sustainable, smart and efficient leader.

Separate the wet waste with dry waste, and use it to generate organic compost or manure for your kitchen garden.

It’s always better than letting the wet waste food smell in dump yards and add to pollution and sickness for people around.

For garbage bins, it’s also advisable to replace the big black plastic bags with newspapers.

5. Implementing the golden mantra of ‘reuse’

We are all familiar with the concept of turning one thing in another and reusing it.

But apart from that, we also usually have things that can be handed over to people who can make better use of them.

For example, you can make up some space in our shelves or cupboards to store in newspapers, cardboards, magazines and journals and sell them to kabadiwala.

Make some money for your next book maybe?

People also repurpose the wood used in old doors to make new aesthetic cupboards or items for home decor.

This can get you to exercise minimalism for a more productive and clutter-free life.

Creativity is all it needs to be more sustainable and it can be implemented anywhere.

It just requires the right mind, a willing heart and some efforts.

Living sustainably can help save other living beings. They deserve to have a good taste of life, as much as we do.

For the better of the self and the future, let’s care and do this!

Do you have more ideas on how to be sustainable? Share with us in the comments!

You can also expand your acts of kindness by volunteering with us.

 

 

Written by

Vanyashree Chaudhary is a light-hearted Journalism student from Delhi. She’s crazy about her love for graphic designing, Oreo shakes and Daft Punk. Find her the happiest while she’s travelling!

4 Upcoming Health Crises and How You Can Prevent Them

“It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of silver and gold.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Health crises have been on the rise among all age groups. Everyday we are being greatly affected by the changing environmental and social factors. And the lack of proper healthcare systems in most economies, especially the developing nations, doesn’t help.

We are not the only ones concerned.

In 2015, the United Nations set 17 Goals to achieve Sustainable Development in the world. One of them is Good Health and Well-Being, which aims to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all, at all ages.

In total, 13 targets have been set out by the UN to promote and execute the same. They include achieving universal health coverage, improving early warning systems for global health risks, etc.

health doctor measuring blood pressure

Youth have a big role to play here. Not only we are the leaders of tomorrow, but we can undertake these targets and make a difference today. It’s our chance to act as catalysts to the current scenario, towards a healthier and sustainable future.

So, do you agree that it’s time to start caring for a healthier world? Then check these  4 upcoming Health Crises and some preventive measures you can take to deal with them!

1. Cardiovascular Diseases

Due to the changing lifestyle and environmental conditions, cardiovascular diseases and heart issues are one of the major threats to good health and wellbeing among young people. These are triggered by high blood pressure and a stagnant lifestyle, apart from genetic causes.

Stress also plays a crucial factor in contributing to the build-up of several heart diseases.

The best way to prevent these diseases is to introduce a change in the hectic lifestyle, with regular exercise and healthy eating habits.

health women jogging

2. Obesity

Obesity is a form of malnutrition which has serious consequences, influencing the health and well-being of individuals.

You can think that obesity is caused by consuming more calorific energy than you burn. However, it is a much more complex and deep-rooted condition. It is triggered not only just by one’s eating habits, but also by genetic disorders, and even due to environmental and lifestyle factors.

In a way, the world is making us obese, and it’s up to us to fight it!

The long working hours which are common nowadays, the availability of junk food at a cheaper price when compared to healthy food, the comfort of getting an Uber everywhere, instead of walking a bit. All of this contributes to obesity.

woman stressed at work - health

High stress level, for instance, leads to the release of stress hormone Cortisol, which in turn triggers the release of fatty acids, relocating them and increasing the appetite.

Changing your habits to live a healthier routine – with a balanced diet and exercises – will help. However, preventing obesity can be a challenge for people who have medical and genetic conditions. Hence, seeking medical advice from certified doctors at the initial stage, to rule out the possibility of any medical risk is also very recommended.

3. Mental Health

Mental Health has been a taboo in the society since time immemorial, but it’s past time to address it. Young people’s mental health is a worsening health crisis, according to Mary O’Hara, an awards winning social issues writer and author.

It has been termed as a ‘silent catastrophe’, because of the stigma associated with it. According to the NHS’ report of 2018, almost 400,000 children and young people aged 18 and under are in contact with health service for mental health problems.

Anxiety and depression have been prevalent in people under 25 years of age due to innumerable reasons, and the lack of effective treatment has made suicide one of the major causes of death in the age group.

girl sad - mental health

Seeking medical help and talking about it are ways through which the mental health of the youth can be nurtured carefully. But we can all play a role.

Noticing warning signs and behavioral changes in the people around us can help in acknowledging and addressing a problem before it’s too late.

4. Environmental Quality

The levels of pollution and deteriorating conditions of living rise every day, especially in developing countries like India. For that, it has made Environmental Quality one of the biggest upcoming health crisis in the world.

In fact, today roughly a quarter of all human disease and death in the world can be attributed to something that the World Health Organisation (WHO) defines as environmental factors, broadly.

They include not just environmental pollution, but also unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation and hygiene, workplace hazards, industrial accidents, climate change, poor land use practices, and poor natural resource management.

air pollution - bad for health

Innovating and inventing sustainable and renewable sources of energy can reduce environmental pollution. Developing the health sectors of economies globally can help in reducing the risk factors associated with the diminishing environmental quality of the 21st century.

The youth of the world is taking initiative by promoting healthy environmental practices that promote sustainable development.

A healthier world can only be achieved if the youth takes initiative to acknowledge these upcoming health crises.

“Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time”
– Bill Gates

The points you just read about threaten the health and well-being of the masses, and it’s time we all carry out effective measures to ensure that they are being adequately addressed and managed.

It’s no longer just about our health, but about the health of generations to come.

If you want to contribute to a healthier world, you can check for a position in one our Global Volunteer projects!


Written by

Malawika is a Mass Communication student from Delhi. She is an astrophile, passionate about Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, and loves to listen to the Arctic Monkeys, her favorite band. Find her at her happiest while exploring new cities and justifying her love for the color orange!

AIESEC delivers World Cleanup Day in partnership with Let’s Do It! India

World Cleanup Day (also known as WCD) is a global social action program aimed at removing plastic and other types of waste from the world’s coastlines, rivers, parks, cities, and trails.

On 15 September, a large number of volunteers and partners throughout 150+ countries came together to clean the Earth of trash.

In India, the action worked on cleaning up litter and mismanaged waste from beaches, rivers, forests, and streets. It was officially organized by AIESEC in India and Let’s do it! India.

The Let’s do it! Foundation has initiated several clean up actions across different countries throughout the last decade, with over 15 million volunteers taking part in total.

A world changing idea with a humble beginning.

The movement began in the small Northern European country of Estonia in 2008. 50,000 people came together to clean up up their entire country in just five hours.

This year the Let’s Do It! India and AIESEC not only focused on cleaning up the trash and mismanaged waste, but also created awareness among the individuals regarding the issue of having a clean and green Earth.

“Simply stopping the blood spilling out will not heal the wound”, said Anneli Ohvril, the head of the managing board of the Let’s do it!.

With cleanups, we aim to draw attention to littering, trash blindness and general mismanagement of waste. Cleanups are not meant to replace regular waste management. Civic action must be followed up by effective waste management reforms, with waste collection improvements to be established everywhere.

We also need to look at what we are throwing away – it’s not waste until it’s wasted. We should see that we are throwing away resources and recognize their potential again, added Ohvril.

World Cleanup Day

What next?

World Clean up Day is being seen as a commencement towards Oct 2nd, 2019, the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi

The 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth marks a target date to largely improve the access to clean water and flushing toilets.

With an estimated 600 million people lacking access to clean water and flushing toilet in their own homes, might be a challenge. But this could be the biggest landmark in history as it provides a critical route in eradicating poverty and unhygienic conditions in the world’s 2nd largest nation.

world cleanup day

The fastest-growing grass root movement in history.

This grass-roots movement inspired people worldwide to follow suit with the same ambition ‘one-country, one-day’ formula.

In India, more than 1,30,000 people from 95+ cities, from Leh to Pondicherry, took an initiative and contributed to the movement.

But the effort of the millions of volunteers united needs to be matched with more sustainable and long-term solutions. Not only from society, but also from business and governments.

“Through this action, we want to support and connect a new generation of community leaders, who are ready to act together to find lasting solutions. Our leaders in different countries are very determined people. They will to work against cultural prejudices, ignorance, climatic challenges, corruption and other very challenging circumstances. All to bring forth new perspectives, and bring their vision to life, Eva Truuverk pointed out.

people holding the poster of world cleanup day

How to keep it clean after the World Cleanup Day?

We also need to look at what we are throwing away – it’s not waste until it’s wasted. Reducing your waste is the best place to start.

With cleanups,  attention is being drawn towards littering, trash blindness and general mismanagement of waste.

Cleanups are not meant to replace regular waste management. Civic action must be followed up by effective education and waste management reforms, with waste collection improvements to be established everywhere.

There are a few simple things that we can actually do every day to keep our cities clean. We all would like a saaf-sutra desh to live in.

It won’t even take much effort:

  1. Don’t litter. Dispose of your trash properly and carry it until you find a bin;
  2. Choose to reuse the hotel towels to save local water or take your own towel instead;
  3. Take a reusable or filtration water bottle;
  4. Take reusable bags when shopping;
  5. Avoid disposable products: cups, plates, spoons, etc;
  6. Prefer to buy refill products, instead of having new packages every time one is over;
  7. You can also reuse bowls, bottles, and jars as lunch boxes or to keep your food, instead of throwing it.

girls cleaning the street on world cleanup day

One of the biggest challenges for India is the lack of truly efficient waste management and recycling system throughout the nation. Much of the waste is simply abandoned and left mismanaged for years because of the lack of a collective responsibility.

It’s about time that we started considering the fact, that we, as the future of the nation, should focus on keeping our country clean and help to establish a disease-free India!

What role will you play in the fight against pollution?

If you also want to get a hands-on experience to support actions like these, check out our Volunteer Exchanges.


Written by

Studying bachelor’s in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.

3 smart tips to prevent food waste at home

In the journey of growing up, I’ve always heard one sentence after completing my supper:“Clean your plate! There are starving kids in Africa.”

Well, my reply always had been: “So, go and give them this food. “

I never took this sentence from my parents so seriously until I had a glance at what is to starve for food myself. That started happening during college when I was studying late night in my hostel and I had to wait till morning to get something.  

Of course, my hunger was nothing compared to people who are really suffering from starvation and malnutrition. Yet, the horrible feeling of my stomach asking for food while there was nothing I could do about it made me understand why my parents kept telling me to value my meals.

One fine day when I actually watched a documentary on how these kids in Africa and various parts of the world were really starving, and I felt guilty about myself. I felt guilty about how I never respected food

Over a billion tonnes of food is wasted worldwide each year.

“When food goes to waste, so does everything it takes to get it to our plates – water, land, energy, and money,” as said by Dana Gunders, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council in the US.

She added “A whopping 24 per cent of global agricultural freshwater is used to grow food that is never eaten. In fact, if global food waste was a country, it would have the largest carbon footprint after the US and China. And at least in the US, food is also the number one product being tossed into landfills. It’s tragic to see this waste alongside the fact that when over 800 million people are hungry.”

But could all these discussions actually instill some sensitivity in us? Or just got spoken about and moved on with?

We all know that there’s a lot more to add, but let’s not be depressed and actually talk about how we can prevent food wastage.

It all starts from our own home 😊

1. Practice FIFO

FIFO stands for First In, First Out.

While we unpack groceries, we should move older products to the front portion of the fridge/freezer/pantry and put new products in the back.

This way, we’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires and prevent it from being thrown away into landfills.

2. Freeze!

There are a lot of food items that can be frozen. There’s a misconception that frozen food lose their nutritional values.

Everything compared to fresh food has lesser nutritional value, but sometimes even less is enough!

Besides this, frozen food also remains safe indefinitely. You can freeze fresh fruits and make a nice cold juice with them later, for instance.

Good News: freezing food items also helps in increasing the expiry date.

You can also designate a week in which you write down everything you throw out on a regular basis. For instance: tossing half a loaf of bread each week?

Maybe it’s time to start freezing half that loaf the moment you buy it, so it doesn’t go stale before you’re able to eat it.

The best part is: this indirectly also helps you in saving money 😉

3. Take Stock

Note the upcoming expiry dates on foods you already have at home, and plan meals from the products that are nearest to their expiry dates.

On that note, also keep a list of what’s in the freezer and when each item was frozen. Place this on the freezer door for easy reference and use items before they pass their prime stage.

Designate one supper each week as a “use-it-up” meal.

Instead of cooking a new meal, look around in the cupboards and refrigerator for leftover items and other food that might otherwise be overlooked easily.

Food waste is indeed a very alarming and terrifying issue everyone is facing.

But, looking at the brighter side of things, it’s so easy to overcome. There are so many things you can do to help and it all starts from our own home and lifestyle.

So, let’s spread the word. Awareness is the key. This is our planet, and it’s everyone’s job to protect and preserve it before it’s too late.

Together we can fight for and achieve SDG 2: Zero Hunger!

Challenge yourself and dream big for a healthier lifestyle, and a healthier world 😊

Do you want to go deeper into the changes and get a hands-on for Zero Hunger?

Find your opportunity to Volunteer and impact sustainability at aiesec.in

If you like this post, you may also like When will the world wake up to freedom —from pollution?”


Written by

Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She is a happy go lucky girl with a head full of dreams, very passionate about traveling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.